No to Violence: Working together to end men’s family violence

The No to Violence agency (‘NTV’), also known as the Male Family Violence Prevention Association, appears to be populated by ardent pro-feminists. Despite that, surprisingly one third of the board members are male. Of those staff listed in the web site, seven are female and three are male.

In January 2019 I was blocked from the twitter stream of the CEO of NTV, Jacqui Watt, without explanation. I became aware of Jacqui’s stream via browsing the Twitter stream @OurWatch CEO, Patty Kinnersly.

NTV do not appear to be listed in the ACNC register, but relevant details including a copy of their 2018 annual report are available in their web site.

NTV is heavily supported by the Victorian government and their annual report acknowledges receipt of almost $3.9 million in grant funding for the year ending 30 June 2018.

In this 2014 submission NTV sought to undermine the integrity of the ‘One in Three‘ organisation.

In this 2014 submission NTV sought to undermine the integrity of the ‘One in Three‘ organisation.

Anyone wishing to complain about NTV or the conduct of specific staff members should familiarise themselves with the Complaints Procedure.

I will add to this page as further details are recovered.

West Australian inquiry into family & domestic violence (2019)

I heard about this strategy via the One in Three organisation. The relevant page in the WA government agency’s web site is here.

By way of background, some other references to West Australian ‘initiatives’ or news can be found here.

The deadline for submissions has been extended to 30 May 2019.

The deadline to complete the online questionnaire (which might be a worthwhile alternative if you are pressed for time) is also 30 May 2019.

“The State Government is developing a 10 Year Strategy for Reducing Family and Domestic Violence in Western Australia (the Strategy). It will guide a whole of community approach to prevention and earlier intervention, victim safety and perpetrator accountability. 

The Strategy will include a focus on access and inclusion, and consider the unique and diverse needs of Aboriginal people, people with disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ people, and people in regional and remote Western Australia.” 

The proposed vision of the strategy is stated as being “A future where all Western Australians live free from family and domestic violence, and where women and children are safe, respected, valued and treated as equals in private and public life.” 

So bad luck about keeping the men safe, respected and valued. Nah ah. Not a priority. Not gonna happen.

I have completed the questionnaire and as and when I prepare a submission I will post a link to it on this page.

Some observations regarding online information concerning filicide

I was browsing Twitter the other evening and noted a reference to a UK article entitled Violent fathers given access to children even after 50 deaths. The Twitter thread to which I subsequently responded can be found here.

I queried whether (in the UK) more children were killed by their mother or father, and I included a link to an earlier post I prepared regarding filicide that shows, amongst other things, that in Australia the biological mother kills more children.

Another poster then provided a link to a 2013 University of Manchester article entitled Findings from most in-depth study into UK parents who kill their children. The study relied upon a 10-year consecutive case series of convicted homicides and homicide-suicides (01/01/97-31/12/06) in England and Wales. That paper defined ‘filicide’ as “a homicide committed by a parent or adult in-loco parentis, with the victim aged under 18.”

The article noted that:

“Overall, fathers were significantly more likely to kill their children than mothers, and were more likely to use violent methods of killing, have previous convictions for violent offences, perpetrate multiple killings, and have a history of substance misuse or dependence.”

I sought to verify the statistical source and compare this with other sources or studies available online, for which I then went hunting. So what did I find? Well it was interesting (though I note that my research is to be continued as time permits and as I receive responses to both my Twitter posts and this blog post).

Soon afterwards another poster assured me that fathers killed more children, and added “if you factor in that there are only 2% of males who are stay-at-home parents, the vast majority of single parents are women and women do the vast majority of child-rearing, if you considered hours by capita on childcare then the stats would be vastly skewed against men.” He/she then provided a link to a 2017 article in The Conversation entitled Understanding the triggers for filicide will help prevent it. If you can spare the time be sure to note the readers comments. My requests for further related/supporting reference works were declined.

Another reference I came across was entitled ‘Filicide: Mental Illness in Those Who Kill Their Children’ (4 April 2013). Note too the following reader’s comment which struck an accord with my own initial thoughts, but to which the authors failed to respond:

“The paper presents information that appears skewed that hides certain details of the sampling. It notes that the significant majority of perpetrators are fathers but this includes Step fathers that is a social construct. This figure portrays fathers as being more likely to kill a child when in fact it is mothers & their partners that are more likely to be the perpetrators. The fathers protective role is supported by the fact that step mothers commit only 2% (in one case) of the cases. Other research in the US including DOJ and Dept of Child Services show that the largest perpetrators of filicide in children under 1 year old are biological mothers.

Do not see a break down of biological fathers vs biological mothers role, and the insistence of including the artificial mix of step fathers/mothers only serve to skew the impressions the media is likely to interpret from this article. The inclusion of step fathers with speaking about fathers is a common ploy seen in media to portray fathers in bad light. In my local area, in the overwhelming majority of times the word “father” is used in a negative context committing a crime against a child, its in fact a step father or mothers boyfriend.

Your statement “Overall, a significantly higher proportion of fathers than mothers were convicted of filicide; a male to female ratio = 2:1” is problematic. You are using courtroom outcomes to determine guilt and severity. We know from several studies that women receive lighter sentences for the same crimes/circumstances in about that same ratio. Examining the data chart is even more troubling. 84 out of 195 male perpetrators (don’t know how you can include step fathers as having committed filicide unless he kills his own biological children) receive the charge of murder compared with 9 out of 102 female perpetrators.

My hypothesis from data collected from government sources in the US, it is clear that the biological fathers role is very protective compared to all other parent ‘figures’. It appears this is also correct in your data if you were to solve a few simple linear equations to arrive at the ratios of biological fathers to mothers as well, and treat each demographic separately. But the statement you make that “I am going to presume that this is by design and qualifies as an example of the “WAW” effect which is a form of bias.”

I  also came acrossChild homicide perpetrators worldwide: a systematic review (date unknown). This paper took a global perspective and noted significant deficiencies in available date, for example:

“Vast differences in the definitions of perpetrator categories only allowed crude comparisons across countries. Categorisation of perpetrators into parents, other family members, acquaintances, strangers and unknown did not capture nuances such as, for example, mothers’ boyfriends, who were considered as acquaintances as there was a lack of information on whether they were solid family members or casual relationships.”

My initial observations include:

  • That most statistical sources and the papers based on them were relatively dated
  • That papers were inclined to focus more on the gender of victims rather than perpetrators
  • That explanations or factors contributing to the crime were sought and discussed more in the case of female perpetrators, than for male perpetrators. In the case of women, the two most common factors seem to be that women spend more time with children and are hence more likely to harm them, and that female killers are more likely to be found to be younger and/or mentally ill.
  • That the relationship between the perpetrator and the victim was usually identified, but not clearly detailed in the case of differentiating biological father, step father or de-facto partner.
  • That an unknown, but possibly quite significant, number of murders are apparently excluded from being classed as filicide due to mental illness on the part of the murderer. This would reduce the ratio of female to males sentenced.

One potentially relevant factor not discussed in any of the papers I came across was the gender bias (towards women) in the police and court system, which could involve less women being charged with murder, and with less being found guilty upon being charged.

Other related posts in my blog that may be of interest include:

The often contrasting reaction when mums and dads kill their children

On fathers and their children

Is child abuse a gendered crime too?

Major sporting events & domestic violence myth

Feminists claim a bogus strong link between televised football and/or major sports events such as the U.S Superbowl to sudden surges in the incidence of domestic violence.

By way of background this topic was formally addressed in another of my blog posts entitled ‘Fudging the figures to support the feminist narrative‘.

Given however that the media repeats the same theme in various western countries on a fairly regular basis, I have decided that it merits its own post here. But don’t take my word for it, just try word-searching on google, twitter, etc, using terms like ‘World Cup domestic violence’ or ‘Super Bowl domestic violence’ to find examples such as those listed below.

To start the ball rolling begin by reading ‘The World Cup Abuse Nightmare‘, by Christina Hoff Sommers (10 July 2010)

Australian variants of the same hoax include this 2014 article and one about the NSW State of Origin (2018)

Here’s a couple of recent (2018) World Cup articles (example 1 / example 2)

Searches related to domestic violence spiked during both World Cup semi-finals (14 July 2018)

The Two Englands (12 July 2018)

Manager of Newtown pub fired for ‘joking’ about violence against women (19 July 2018)

(I will progessively add to this list of papers as & when I get time)

Queensland LNP offers up failed measures to address domestic violence

In another post I described the feminist-driven non-event that is the Queensland Government’s approach to tackling domestic violence.

Now with an election just weeks away we have seen domestic violence policies released firstly by One Nation and then yesterday by the Liberal National Party.

The Liberal National Party has offered up nothing new or different, proposing:

  • A public register to “disclose people’s abusive pasts”
  • Setting up specialist domestic violence courts
  • Creating a specific domestic violence offence “to better protect victims”, and
  • A law change to prohibit perpetrators from personally cross examining their victims in civil or criminal matters

The only box they didn’t tick was a new awareness campaign.

Yes, the first dot point is based on Clare’s Law in the UK – which has been found to be costly and ineffective. The Queensland Government recently came to the same conclusion.

Special domestic violence courts were trialed in Western Australia and then discontinued as they were found to be costly and ineffective.

A new offence. Yes, that’s going to make a big difference. Like the new offence recently proposed for strangulation. We don’t already have enough suitable offences in our legal armory? Oh please! But it sounds effective, right? This particular proposal is discussed in this article.

And who needs to confront their accusers in a court of law? An obviously over-rated legal anachronism.

The LNP could have chosen to offer a real alternative to the policies of the Labor Party. Something bold that went ‘back to the drawing board’, challenging the entire feminist/Duluth model mindset. Something that would reap tangible results in terms of reducing domestic violence, in contrast to the ineffective feeding trough for feminist organisations that the taxpayers are currently supporting.

Instead the LNP have opted for the safe path and offered Queensland voter’s nothing of value or substance, and we are all the poorer for it.

See also:

Sunshine Coast Labor and LNP candidates in radio interview re: domestic violence (21 November 2017) Disappointing yet very predictable comments.

Courier-Mail coverage of the policy release (9 November 2017)

One Nation unveils controversial domestic violence policy (24 October 2017) Strongly criticized by LNP

The Duluth Model: The theoretical basis for the feminist approach to domestic violence

The cornerstone of the feminist approach to domestic violence is known as the ‘Duluth Model’, which is often illustrated as follows:

The Duluth Model is “based in feminist theory positing that domestic violence is the result of patriarchal ideology in which men are encouraged and expected to control their partners”. (Source)

It is my position, and I am certainly not alone in this regard, that applying this theoretical framework to most (let alone all) incidents of domestic violence is highly misleading and inappropriate.

Further, if gender inequality is the most significant precursor in relation to domestic violence, then:

Why is the incidence of domestic violence greater in lesbian couple than in heterosexual couples?

How might one explain the already high and growing levels of female-perpetrated violence generally?

How might one explain the significant geographical variations in the incidence of domestic violence? The chart below, for example, looks at variations in the incidence of DV in the Australian state of New South Wales.

highrateDVareas

Why does there exist a very considerable number of male victims of domestic violence?

How might one explain the relatively high levels of child abuse and neglect involving single mothers?

Why is the level of domestic violence so high in countries like Sweden that, even feminists would agree, have a higher than average level of gender equality?

These categories or situations of domestic violence are not the inconsequential anomalies that many propose them to be. On the contrary, they constitute very large and substantial pieces of the domestic violence jigsaw.

In an intimate partnership between two people of different genders, an unequal balance of power can be a factor contributing to DV. But what feminists refuse to concede is that the partner asserting most power need not be male, and often isn’t.

The Duluth Model and its chief proponents are discussed at length in this illuminating series of email exchanges (mirror here).

“… the Duluth model essentially views all female transgressions as being self-defensive in nature (even against children!) and can be attributed either to previous victimization by a male or to an allegedly oppressive “patriarchy” (Dutton and Corvo, 2007)”

I would urge you to take a moment now to read Jason Dale’s detailed and insightful commentary.

See also:

You can’t help men by attacking masculinity, by Dr John Barry (27 November 2018)

Setting the record straight on Duluth (6 February 2017)

Taking an in-depth look into domestic violence research – The Duluth Model (6 September 2015)

The Gender Paradigm In Domestic Violence: Research And Theory (2005) by Donald G. Dutton and Tonia L. Nicholls

 

The Australian Institute of Family Studies – another taxpayer-funded feminist mouthpiece

“The Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) is a Melbourne-based  Australian Government statutory agency established in 1980 under the Family Law Act 1975.

The Institute has a proud record of high-quality, responsive and impartial research into the wellbeing of Australian families. Our vision is to make a positive contribution to the wellbeing of Australian families by advancing understanding of the factors affecting Australian families and communicating findings to policy makers, service providers and the broader community.

The Institute operates within the portfolio of the Department of Social Services (DSS) and is responsible to the Minister for Social Services. The Institute has ongoing relationships with various other government agencies, policy makers and the community sector. Staff at the Institute are employed under the Public Service Act 1999.” (Source)

The latest annual report for the AIFS tells us that it burnt through almost eighteen million taxpayer dollars in financial year 2015/16, and that as at 30 June 2016, there were 75 staff (3/4 of whom were female).

Regrettably, the Institute appears to have a strongly feminist orientation and corresponding anti-male bias. Even more regrettably, it is but one of dozens of publicly-funded organisations of similar persuasion.

In June 2017 the AIFS issued a publication entitled ‘Fathers who use violence‘. And no, for reasons that are not acknowledged, there is no corresponding document regarding abusive mothers. Of course the document should have been entitled ‘Parents who use violence‘, but apparently that would have constituted a little too much gender equality for those in the driver’s seat.

Another indicator of the extent of feminist bias in the AIFS is the inclusion within their web site of contributions by Michael Flood (example) who holds views highly antagonistic towards the men’s rights movement. In this example it would have been far more appropriate for Dr. Flood’s view to be presented with a counter-argument provided by someone from the men’s rights movement, but clearly that concept didn’t make it past the powers-that-be (if indeed it was even considered at all). More on Dr. Flood and his tortured relationship with the men’s rights movement hereherehere and here.

Yet more gender bias on display in this report on female sex offending by Senior Research Officer Mary Stathopoulos. Reddit poster ‘DougDante‘ comments thus:

“The bias was clear in the introduction. “the debate”, which is really about providing boys and men equal access to services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, constructed as if doing so would imply that police must be forced to waste resources trying to identify equal numbers of victims and perps of each gender, “is dangerous”.

Denying boy and man victims services and silencing them – not dangerous.

The survey also highlighted shocking disparities in New Zealand where only 0.6% of convictions were against women offenders, more than 5 times lower than other nations. Are women there more moral, or is that a female rapist’s paradise?

Perhaps I missed it, but the authors did not recognize that shocking number a signal of a systematic rape culture that ignores women’s sex crimes, and used it to justify ignoring boy and man victims.

Excuses are often made for female abusers such as in the report when they stated, “most striking feature is a history of previous victimisation”, but male abusers have the same histories!

This is why it’s important that no one be allowed to abuse any child or adult.”

See also:

Gender bias in Australian Institute of Family Studies Experiences of Separated Parents Study (2 November 2017)

Why is it so very hard for MSM to allow objective airing of men’s issues? The example of Triple J Hack’s ‘debate’

This evening ABC2/Triple J Hack are to broadcast what is billed as a debate on the topic of ‘Is Male Privilege Bullshit‘. In fact it will most likely be nothing more than yet another bigoted feminist soliloquy.

They have most likely scheduled this program due to the considerable amount of recent publicity concerning the screening of the Red Pill movie, and the feminist lobby’s desperate need to try to claw back some credibility.

For background or updates readers can peruse the Twitter streams for @ABC2, @TripleJHack @TomTilley and/or the corresponding Facebook pages.

ABC2 have invited the likes of Clementine Ford and Nakkiah Lui to join the panel. Of course, if you want to have a fair and balanced discussion you invite misandrists onto the panel. If worst comes to worst then the rest of the sisterhood can claim ‘not all feminists are like that‘, then rinse and repeat.

While Karen Straughan (‘GirlWritesWhat’) features in a promo video, sadly she will not be participating on the discussion panel. Cassie Jaye (‘Red Pill’) was to be interviewed (via satellite) during the show but pulled out stating:

“I already see so many warning signs of inherent bias based on the program’s marketing … I don’t see what I can gain by being a part of this when it’s clear that the show is going to give selective and limited airtime to certain guests over others.” (Source)

Additionally, yesterday ABC2 published this biased and misleading article about domestic violence (‘DV’). The focus of the article is an assertion that the Australian finding that one in three victims of domestic violence are male, is false. This is not the first time that Australian feminists have attacked this statistic.

The article quotes well-known anti-men’s rights advocates Michael Flood and Michael Salter, and includes various factual errors as well as misrepresentations of the MRA perspective on the issue of DV.

Here is a rebuttal of that article prepared by Greg Andresen of the One in Three organisation:

“I would greatly appreciate it if you could look into correcting the following factual errors from your article “What about men?: Challenging the MRA claim of a domestic violence conspiracy”:

  1. The article claims, “In the 2012 PSS, about 33 per cent of men said they had experienced an act of violence from a current partner in the last 12 months. The ABS warns the estimate has a standard error of 25-50 per cent (meaning the real figure could be 50 per cent higher or lower) and “should be used with caution”. If we look at experiences of domestic violence over a longer period, we find the proportion of male victims sharply falls.” The 2012 PSS also found that about 33 per cent of men said they had experienced an act of violence from a current partner since the age of 15. There was no standard error. This is the same proportion, not a “sharp fall”.
  2. It claims, “When we look at other stats, the proportion of male victims also falls below one in three… Emergency departments: Two-thirds of patients presenting for family violence reasons were female.” This is exactly one in three, not a fall.
  3. It claims, “When we look at other stats, the proportion of male victims also falls below one in three. Victoria’s 2016 Royal Commission into Family Violence compared several sources…”. The Royal Commission into Family Violence found (I quote), “Over the five years from July 2009, the proportion of male victims has increased and in 2013-14 male victims made up 31% (n=5,052) of total victims of family violence”. That’s pretty close to one in three.
  4. Dr Salter claims, “For men experiencing violence from a female partner, it’s primarily self defensive or it’s expressive in terms of a push or a slap” without citing any research to support his claim.
  5. It claims, “Some MRAs argue the one in three figure actually underestimates the number of male victims of domestic violence, because men are either too ashamed, too stoic, or too chivalrous to report being hit by their female partner… But apart from these anecdotal reports, there’s no other evidence to back up this claim, and no easy way of measuring this potential statistical bias.” The 2012 PSS found that men who have experienced partner violence are 2 to 3 times more likely than women to have never told anybody about experiencing current and/or previous partner violence; twice as likely as women to have never sought advice or support about experiencing current and/or previous partner violence; up to 40% more likely than women to have not contacted police about experiencing current and/or previous partner violence; and half as likely as women to have had a restraining order issued against the perpetrator of previous partner violence. See http://www.oneinthree.com.au/infographicrefs.
  6. Michael Brandenburg said, “Certainly there’s a cohort of men who experience family violence… In our experience a significant number of those experience violence not by intimate partners, but from other family members.” The 2012 PSS found the vast majority of partner and dating violence committed against men is perpetrated by females (94%). Only 6% occurs in relationships with a male perpetrator. See http://www.oneinthree.com.au/infographicrefs.”

The Australian mainstream media have apparently learnt nothing from the marked backlash against the rude and biased treatment of film director Cassie Jaye on The Project and Sunrise TV programs.

It is so incredibly frustrating that they are unable to address men’s issues in a fair and objective manner, and simply provide the public with the facts and different opinions and let them form their own views.

The debate tonight is designed to try to inflict maximum damage on the men’s rights movement. It will only dig the media an even deeper hole in terms of their credibility in the eyes of the community. Instead of bringing people together and fostering understanding and consensus, media stunts like this simply set the scene for more lobbing of grenades from trench to trench.

Media coverage after the event:

Hack critique Pt. 2, by Gary Orsum (22 June 2017) Video

Hack Live: What happened when we debated male privilege (21 June 2017) with related Reddit discussion thread

Bettina Arndt tells why Cassie Jaye ditched Hack Live (20 June 2017) Video

Elsewhere in this blog you might be interested in reading:

Privilege, respect and entitlement

Female Privilege Check-list

Persistent pro-feminist and anti-male bias in the mainstream media

Another federal government domestic violence inquiry – This one focuses on family law

“On 16 March 2017, a Committee of the Australian Parliament adopted an inquiry into how Australia’s federal family law system can better support and protect people affected by family violence. The inquiry was referred by the Attorney-General, Senator the Hon. George Brandis Q.C. The Committee aims to make recommendations that will improve the system for all participants.” (Source)

Members of the public were able to provide feedback in the following ways:

  • Community statements for individuals who wish to discuss their experiences of the treatment of family violence within the family law system with the committee.
  • Public hearings to gather evidence from stakeholders, including government agencies, non-government organisations, and experts in the policy area.
  • Written submissions addressing one or more of the terms of reference to be received by Wednesday, 3 May 2017.

The Chair of the Inquiry is Sarah Henderson MP, who is interviewed here on Sky News Australia. In this interview Ms Henderson unreservedly commends the work of Rosie Batty (strike 1), as well as mentioning some of the specific issues to be addressed in the Inquiry.

One such issue was the possibility of creating some sort of nexus between the nature of court orders made in relation to spousal support and property settlement, and the presence or alleged presence of family violence in the relationship. This is described in the Terms of Reference at point 4:

“How the family law system can better support people who have been subjected to family violence recover financially, including the extent to which family violence should be taken into account in the making of property division orders”

Men are already being blackmailed with allegations of domestic violence or sexual abuse in relation to child custody matters, and now it seems they will also have to worry about the impact of such allegations on their financial affairs (strike 2). How many more male suicides will this generate?

As of 21 June 2017, 114 public submissions have been uploaded onto the Committee’s web site. I tendered a brief submission which can be accessed here (see submission 113).

The Committee subsequently tabled its report in Parliament on 7 December 2017. The report, which makes 33 recommendations, is available to read on the Committee’s web page at this link. The media release for the tabling of the report can also be found at this link.

Under a 2010 resolution of the House of Representatives, the Government is required to respond to the report within six months. When the Government has provided a response it will be made available on the Committee’s web page.

Related media articles:

One in Three Campaign supplementary submission to Federal Parliamentary Inquiry published (24 October 2017)

Lone Fathers President To Address Parliament Inquiry On DV (28 July 2017)

Good men doing nothing‘ by Bettina Arndt (9 May 2017) with related Reddit discussion thread (see comment by ‘SantaOrange’)

Domestic Violence Inquiry To Take On The Family Law System (23 March 2017)

I don’t want no menfolk near my daughters, you hear?

“The English noun bigot is a term used to describe a prejudiced or closed-minded person, especially one who is intolerant or hostile towards different social groups (e.g. racial or religious groups), and especially one whose own beliefs are perceived as unreasonable or excessively narrow-minded, superstitious, or hypocritical.” (Source)

Thanks largely to the pervasive influence of feminism, anti-male bigotry has been accorded a level of acceptance well in excess of that applicable to other significant segments within the community. This has been reflected in an increasing number of rather biased articles in the mainstream media, examples of which can be found in the following posts:

New Zealand journalist labels men as the ultimate predators
A few observations in relation to yet another article critical of men
How tragic that feminists ignore their role in demonising men
On the issue of traveler safety
Persistent pro-feminist and anti-male bias in the mainstream media
How men are portrayed … Haw Haw Haw! The jokes on us

Today I wanted to address an article by Jane Gilmore entitled ‘Be outraged at the abuse of children, not at one mother’s efforts to protect her daughters‘ (2 March 2017). Jane’s piece focuses on an earlier article by Kasey Edwards,  ‘Why I won’t let any male babysit my children‘, and the public reaction to it.

After Kasey’s piece appeared I read three well-intended, but somewhat insipid, rebuttals. These were penned by Ben Pobjie, Melissa Hoyer, and Louise Roberts. Still, the fact that any rebuttals were published is indicative of feminism’s gradual slide from the pedestal of public opinion. A considerable amount of material also appeared on social media, most of which was critical of Kasey’s position.

Jo Abi, on the other hand, wrote an article in Mamamia supporting Kasey’s stance. Interestingly, even in that feminist forum many readers held a different view.

From an MRA perspective this was pleasing to note, the only negative being an unfortunate tendency by some to personalise the issue via referencing the potential danger posed by Kasey’s family.

Jane stepped in at that point to address those taking umbrage at what they perceived as the gender bigotry inherent in Kasey’s position. What follows now is Jane’s article (shown in italics) with my comments inserted in relevant places (and shown in blue font).

A wave of outrage broke and splattered across social media this week over an article by Daily Life columnist Kasey Edwards about the choice she and her husband have made to keep their children safe from sexual abuse. In it, Edwards pointed out the following statistics:

“…the ‘best case’ scenario is that 1 in 20 boys are sexually abused. The worst case is that 1 in three girls are.”

“Evidence overwhelmingly indicates that the majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by males.”

These disturbing facts should indeed provoke outrage. But they didn’t.

This is the page in the Australian Institute of Family Studies web site where Kasey sourced the statistics noted in her article (scroll down to ‘How many Australian children are sexually abused‘). The author describes the difficulties compiling these statistics and their consequent limitations. Note too the basis for the “1 in three girls” statistic mentioned in both Kasey and Jane’s articles.

Kasey’s chosen strategy does not “keep their children safe from sexual abuse”. This is because a) men aren’t responsible for every instance of sexual abuse, and b) her daughters would still have contact with men at other times. Remember that the definition of abuse used here does not require actual physical contact. Kasey’s approach only theoretically reduces the likelihood of sexual abuse occurring. Not all personal threats and dangers. Not even all child abuse. Sexual abuse only.

You see, sexual abuse is just one of the four types of child abuse (and in fact it’s the least common variety). Sexual abuse is the only form of child abuse wherein surveys consistently identify more male than female perpetrators (although there are still plenty of those).

No surprise then that this is the form of child abuse that feminists keep the media’s focus on. A similar thing happens in the realm of the domestic violence debate, whereby all those forms of DV other than heterosexual male-on-female violence are air-brushed out of the picture. 

Instead, the backlash was in response to Edwards’ acknowledgment that men are the most likely perpetrators, and the resulting decision she and her husband made to not have men care for their children without a woman present.

Cue articles and endless anger about how hurtful and offensive this is for men. Followed by strawman arguments about Edwards’ husband caring for their children without supervision, despite her article clearly stating this was a decision they reached together.

Likewise, suggestions that her children would miss out on male role models and have a warped view of men. (Edwards clarified on The Project this week that her daughter has a wonderful male teacher).

Writer Amy Gray, who skilfully moderated a long and mostly respectful debate on this topic, said, “The uproar over this article hasn’t been about how to combat rape culture, community enablement, lack of law or police reform, or suitable therapy or support for victims. The uproar was about protecting men from hurt feelings over being excluded from unpaid labour they rarely do. The uproar should be tackling the overwhelming male presence in sexual assault of children.

It’s hardly surprising that the focus of feedback provided by readers mirrored the narrow scope of the article. Kasey did not address the issues above, nor did she indicate that she would welcome dialogue on those issues. If Kasey expected more holistic feedback then she should have written a broader and less injudicious article.

And it’s curious that no link was provided to that “long and mostly respectful debate”. Don’t tell me it reflected poorly on team feminism?

“I want men to examine their role in this culture,” she added. “I want them to actively combat it and question men who refuse to participate in that.”

On the contrary, the volume of feedback generated by Kasey’s article clearly demonstrated men’s *insistence* in participating in the discussion whilst rejecting the demonisation of an entire gender based on the actions of a very small minority.

The real difficulty with Edwards’ article was that she outlined a single approach to preventing child abuse in her own family. But if we are talking about preventing child abuse at a community level then we need to talk about a community-wide response.

Which comes back to the perpetrators. Again, they are mostly men, and yet men are so rarely part of the discussion about prevention, other than to object to the facts being discussed.

Why is it that men are so much more likely to commit violence and abuse? What happened to those men, where did they learn this behaviour? How can they change?

Clearly there is a problem with violence in our community, and a lot of that is due to men. A very, very small minority of men. A point that seems perpetually lost on feminists. And where are all these men objecting to the “facts”? Alternatively, where are all the feminists discussing prevention with regards to issues like circumcision, the sexual assault of men & boys, male suicide, etc?

What positive outcome/s are borne from the incessant criticism of men and the manner in which they are portrayed in the mainstream media? The consistent lack of recognition for the contributions made by men in terms of the well-being of the community? The paucity of government funding support for addressing men’s health and other men’s/boys issues? The bias of the legal and justice system against men?

The active support of the feminist lobby sure wouldn’t hurt, but their pointed indifference to date is hardly encouraging.

Turning our attention now to women, which occurs all too rarely other than in relation to some issue of perceived victimhood, why are there so many violent and abusive women? (NB: trending upwards). Why is this not being acknowledged and addressed? esp. bearing in mind that they are producing the next generation of not just child abusers, but perpetrators of domestic violence generally.

Exploring this, without defensiveness and with a genuine desire to find solutions, is the most valuable way men can participate in protecting children. It’s disturbing that many men are so aggressively unwilling to do this, leaving the burden of finding solutions to everyone else.

Seriously Jane, imagine if an article appeared wherein the husband set out his strategy to prevent his sons being killed by only having male carers. The reaction from your ilk would not have been merely “defensive” – they would be livid.

And Jane, what of the many instances where people do demonstrate “a genuine desire to find solutions”, and are attacked for doing so simply because they dare propose solutions that are contrary to leftist/feminist dogma? Want examples? 

On the censorship and erasure of non-feminist perspectives and opinions
A feminist laments: “Why do so few men turn up to hear women speak?”
White Ribbon campaign to men: Stand up! Speak up! Shut up!
Domestic Violence NSW censors dissenting views (before lapsing into paranoid delusion)
Sallee McLaren must write on the blackboard “I must not challenge the feminist narrative”
Australian feminist attacks integrity of advocacy group for male victims of domestic violence (Here Jane Gilmore sabotages Australia’s only advocacy group for male victims of domestic violence, only to then criticize the men’s rights movement on the basis that it doesn’t do anything but criticize feminists)

This is why mothers are so often vilified when they do something as simple as wait outside while their children go to the toilet, and conversely, vilified again if they acknowledge the facts of child abuse and act to protect their children from possible perpetrators.

The author was not criticized for wanting to protect her children, but for making a decision of dubious efficacy in the absence of an objective and unbiased consideration of all relevant factors. 

It’s not surprising given how fraught it can be to navigate the issue that parents like Kasey Edwards and her husband look for solutions that don’t depend on community-wide protection. Their choice is not right for everyone – indeed for some, it’s very much the wrong choice. But for them, it’s the best way to keep their children safe. And given the deep, lifelong trauma caused by child abuse, it is both justifiable and understandable.

Their solution, however, only works for their circumstances. It relies on them always having options for childcare that fit within their parameters, which is not readily available to many parents.

There is no proof that this approach “works” for anyone, full stop. As to whether it’s practical for parents to even attempt, your point is taken.

It also assumes that they, their family, and their children’s friends are always in partnered, heterosexual relationships. In the Edwards’ policy, children of single fathers, or in families that do not include people who identify as women, already suffering exclusion and stigma, are excluded even further.

Even for families who do have the option to have women always present, it places an extra burden on those women, who are already taking on the majority of (unpaid) emotional and domestic caring labour. This is particularly difficult in the context of the systemic economic disadvantage women suffer, which requires men to take on an equal share of parenting. It’s a quandary that can’t be solved by making women the “abuse police”. Men have to take responsibility for prevention and commit to unambiguous action on the causes and realities of abuse.

Please, jettison the male-shaming and #HeForShe nonsense. Both men and women parent children. Both men and women abuse children. Everyone has an equal role to play in reducing the incidence of abuse.

While there are undeniable problems with the Edwards’ choice, the outraged criticisms of it are equally problematic, and frankly blind to the realities of how abuse occurs and its effect on victims.

Pot-Kettle-Black (big time)

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse released a paper this week describing the grooming practices of abusers. Grooming is not something abusers only do to victims. They also deliberately create relationships with parents and caregivers that involves trust, friendship and dependence. And they make sure their victims know about it.

Was this specific to male abusers? The paragraph that follows implies it was.

As feminist writer Cecilia Winterfox told Fairfax Media, “Every time we say, ‘but my male friends are so lovely’ we make it harder for victims to speak out. It reinforces and demonstrates clearly to them the reflexive disbelief they will almost certainly face. It’s a kind of cultural gaslighting to victims, and a signal of protection to abusers”.

And every time feminists say ‘men can’t be raped (by women)’, ‘domestic violence is men’s abuse of women’, ‘women are only violent in self-defence’, ‘men don’t suffer negative effects from domestic violence as much as women do’, etc etc etc. That also makes it more difficult for “victims to speak out” right? But that doesn’t seem to deter feminists from making these statements. More equality-when-it-suits?

The royal commission paper was specifically about institutional responses to child abuse, so the recommendations were focused on cultural change to identifying and reporting grooming techniques. Which may work in well-monitored organisations, but it’s not something any individual parent can enforce in their social group.

Deanne Carson, co-founder of Body Safety Australia says a blanket ban on men caring for children is not the solution. “We need to empower adults to be a champion for children. This means debunking myths around childhood sexual abuse, teaching them to spot grooming techniques and supporting them in being able to address concerns about any individual’s concerning behaviour.”

It also means broadening the debate beyond child sexual abuse, firstly by considering all other forms of abuse. We also need to consider related issues such as the sexualisation of children, and again, both men and women play a role in this process.

The problem with these strategies, as Carson acknowledges, is that they don’t keep all children safe, they just protect the children whose parents can implement them. And not all parents feel able to do this.

Which is why the solution needs to go back to the community and the abusers, not victims or their carers. And we can’t do that while men are still refusing to discuss the source of the problem.

As Edwards told Daily Life: “Of all the people who have told me how ridiculous and offensive I’ve been, not one of them has come up with a feasible alternative to keep children safe”. <end of article>

Jane expands her views on the matter in an item in her personal blog, asserting that Kasey’s response was understandable and should be respected:

… often the responses are emotional because there is no other way to respond to such trauma. Those emotions are real, valid, complex and demand respect.”

Jane says this even though there is no suggestion in Kasey’s article that her children had previously been subject to abuse (and I sincerely hope that is not the case). Jane then adds:

“That respect is not present when men who have never been forced to feel those emotions are simply offended by the facts.”

Cheap shot. Because men have never been subjected to abuse as children, or fathered children who have been abused by others, right? And because I didn’t notice any reader feedback wherein the “facts” (presumably the quoted abuse statistics) formed any part of that individual’s objection to the article. Seemed to me people were upset about inference, opinion, and plain old bias.

And wait a minute. The feedback on Kasey’s article that Jane found so objectionable was contributed by men and women in roughly equal measures. It’s just as valid or invalid therefore to suggest that women are also “still refusing to discuss the source of the problem“. Unless Team Feminism has bestowed honorary bloke status on the largely silent majority of women who choose to hold a non-feminist-compliant opinion.

Earlier we noted Amy Gray’s haughty dismissal of the negative reaction to Kasey’s article: “The uproar was about protecting men from hurt feelings over being excluded from unpaid labour they rarely do.”

Let’s not detour to talk about single dads, yard work and the like. Let’s pretend Amy is right and proceed on the basis that men’s feelings count for nought. As presumably then, in the interests of gender equality, so too for feminists’ feelings.

Because rest assured, men certainly do want to be a part of the solution to the scourge of child abuse, but it seems most unlikely that it will be on feminists’ terms.

See also:

Safety around dogs: Half of all kids get bitten by dogs, so don’t let one near your daughters.

Reddit discussion threads in relation to the Kasey Edwards article:(r/mensrights thread #1) (r/mensrights thread #2) & (r/australia). The latter thread also provides links to several other threads on this topic

Feminism: The demonization of males, by Stacy McCain (2 March 2017)